‘Cultural Artifacts’ out now! (about the cover, plus a giveaway)

Yay! It’s pub day for my collection of science fiction, fantasy, and horror flash fiction. What is Cultural Artifacts?

Meet an angry kitten, the gods of theater, and the bored young aristocrats of Mars. Take two trips to “the most beautiful planet known to humanity,” and visit Wok Like An Egyptian, “LA’s latest fast friendly food sensation.” Feel frissons of discovery and watch as history is misinterpreted and misunderstood in objects mysterious and quotidian.

Insidious toys, eternal treasures, and instruments of beauty and destruction: ‘Cultural Artifacts’ is a collection of science fiction, horror, and fantasy flash fiction that offers tasty bites of hope and darkness in tales of infernal devices animated by kind magic and cruel sorcery, in curios that create image and identity, in keepsakes that magnify repression and foment revolution.

Two stories are available free on my Patreon, if you’d like to get an idea of what you’re in for:

“The Day of Broken Glass”

Cultural Artifacts is available for sale now for only US$1.99 (or local equivalent):

Amazon US
Amazon Canada
Amazon UK
Apple Books (global)
more stores

If you join my Patreon during April — or if you are already a Patreon supporter — you get the ebook for free.

If you’re a Goodreads user, and you’re in the United States, enter to win one of a hundred free ebook copies of Cultural Artifacts. (The US-only restriction is a Goodreads thing; if I had my druthers, I’d let anyone anywhere enter.)

Oh, and I promised to tell you more about the cover:

Cultural Artifacts cover

I absolutely love this image, which I think perfectly reflects the collection of stories: hints of danger where you might not expect them, perspectives that I hope you will find unusual, a bit of weird science, a taste of strange art. It’s also not a public-domain image that has been overused and overexposed: it’s odd but also fresh.

And while there’s a feeling of Escher to this, it is, in fact, much older: it’s by Lorenz Stör (1530–1621), from his 1567 book Geometria et Perspectiva, a collection of designs intended for intarsia artists for use in decorative wood inlays for floors, walls, and furniture.

This and ten other color images from the book, which have been digitized and made available online by the University of Tübingen in Germany, are available to peruse at The Public Domain Review, which is where I found this. There’s a bit more background on the work there, and you can also buy the original image, without my added text, of course, as a print.

I hope you’ll enjoy the ebook. I’m very proud of the stories therein.

(By the way, this post is exactly the sort of thing that I am using the free version of my fiction Substack for. In fact, I sent this as an email there first. There’s a paid version coming soon, which will be mirrored as a fiction tier at my Patreon.)

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